Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty.
  • noun The authority so granted.
  • noun The matter or task so authorized.
  • noun A document conferring such authorization.
  • noun A public board or administrative body.
  • noun A ruling council within the Mafia that adjudicates family disputes and regulates family activities.
  • noun The act of committing or perpetrating.
  • noun A fee or percentage allowed to a sales representative or an agent for services rendered.
  • noun An official document issued by a government, conferring on the recipient the rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces.
  • noun The rank and powers so conferred.
  • transitive verb To grant a military commission to.
  • transitive verb To grant authority for (something to be made or done); place an order for.
  • transitive verb To authorize or engage (someone to do something): synonym: authorize.
  • transitive verb To put (a ship) into active service.
  • idiom (in commission) In active service. Used of a ship.
  • idiom (in commission) In use or in usable condition.
  • idiom (on commission) With a sales commission serving as full or partial recompense for the work done.
  • idiom (out of commission) Not in active service. Used of a ship.
  • idiom (out of commission) Not in use or working condition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To order, as a war-ship, into active service, or to place in commission with formal ceremony.
  • To give a commission to; empower or authorize by commission.
  • To send with a mandate or authority; send as a commission.
  • Synonyms To appoint, depute, delegate.
  • noun A shirt.
  • noun The act of committing or doing: often with the implication that the thing done is morally wrong: as, the commission of a crime.
  • noun The act of intrusting, as a charge or duty.
  • noun That which is committed, intrusted, or delivered.
  • noun The warrant by which any trust is held or any authority exercised.
  • noun Specifically— A warrant granted by government authority to a person, or to a body of persons, to inquire into and report on any subject.
  • noun The document issued by the government to officers in the army and navy, judges, justices of the peace, and others, conferring authority to perform their various functions; also, the power thus granted.
  • noun A writ which issues from a court of law for various purposes, such as the taking of evidence from witnesses who are unable to appear in court.
  • noun Hence Charge; order; mandate; authority given.
  • noun A body of persons intrusted jointly with the performance of certain special duties, usually of a public or legal character, either permanently or temporarily.
  • noun In com., authority delegated by another for the purchase and sale of goods; the position or business of an agent; agency: thus, to trade or do business on commission is to buy or sell for another by his authority.
  • noun The allowance made or the percentage given to a factor or agent for transacting business, or to an executor, administrator, or trustee, as his compensation for administering an estate.
  • noun See to put in commission, below.
  • noun In the United States navy, to transfer (a ship) from the navy-yard authorities to the command of the officer ordered in charge. Upon this transfer being made the ensign and pendant are hoisted, and the ship is then said to be in commission.
  • noun Synonyms Perpetration.
  • noun Percentage, brokerage, fee.
  • noun In naval use, a period of active service of a war-ship, from the time she is put into commission until she is again out of commission. In the British navy this period is from 2 to 5 years. In the United States navy there is no fixed length of commission.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of committing, doing, or performing; the act of perpetrating.
  • noun The act of intrusting; a charge; instructions as to how a trust shall be executed.
  • noun The duty or employment intrusted to any person or persons; a trust; a charge.
  • noun A formal written warrant or authority, granting certain powers or privileges and authorizing or commanding the performance of certain duties.
  • noun A certificate conferring military or naval rank and authority.
  • noun A company of persons joined in the performance of some duty or the execution of some trust.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English commissioun, from Latin commissiō, commissiōn-, from commissus, past participle of committere, to entrust; see commit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin commissio ("sending together; commission"), from prefix com- ("with"), + noun of action missio ("sending"), from perfect passive participle missus ("sent"), from the verb mittō, + noun of action suffix -io.

Examples

  • That quote made me wonder if the commission is authorized to smack people.

    Augustine Committee Meets at MSFC Today - NASA Watch

  • "I wouldn't use the word 'commission' anymore," she says.

    The Changing Face of Portraits

  • In numerous letters to various editors after September 11, he protested that he had never meant to endorse “terrorism,” which he defined as the commission of “random acts of terror against people.”

    Deconstructing Obama

  • To a company, a commission is a bit like a tax in that their expense goes up when sales go up & often commission rates increase for heavier sales.

    Tax Cuts for the Rich, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • This commission is a little late to the party, and what the hell is Jeff Greason doing on the list?

    Augustine Panel Members Identified - NASA Watch

  • In numerous letters to various editors after September 11, he protested that he had never meant to endorse “terrorism,” which he defined as the commission of “random acts of terror against people.”

    Deconstructing Obama

  • KING: Senator Leahy, in the Boston Globe today, in an op-ed piece, you continue your effort to get what you call a commission of inquiry to look back into the practices, the detainee interrogation practices, what you call the torture committed during the Bush administration.

    CNN Transcript May 3, 2009

  • KING: Senator Leahy, in The Boston Globe today, in an op-ed piece, you continue your effort to get what you call a commission of inquiry, to look back into the practices -- the detainee interrogation practices, what you call the torture committed during the Bush administration.

    CNN Transcript May 3, 2009

  • This commission is authorized to mediate and resolve conflicts between financial institutions and the consumer.

    Fraud a la Mexicana

  • Since the commission is always negotiable, and the agent's only true incentive is the commission, there's good reason for them to take on the extra work, and the seller can potentially realize the same or more net with a lower selling price.

    Something's Gotta Give

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